Australian hepatitis organisations have expressed concern that 2019 funding for hepatitis commitments in 2019 Health Budgets are yet to be released even as new funding was announced for the 2020 budget.
Hepatitis Australia CEO, Carrie Fowlie, said "We are pleased that this funding from the 2019 Health Budget still stands, however we are concerned that the majority of this funding is yet to be allocated. This is particularly concerning given the falling hepatitis testing rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic."
She pointed out that pathology testing data showed a decline in tests for non-COVID conditions, and in the case of hepatitis, the numbers have not yet recovered.
Hepatitis SA is similarly concerned about the reduction in hepatitis testing and treatment (see our cover story here about why now is the best time to act), and are extremely keen to see all government funding commitments met so that the lives of those living with hepatitis in Australia.
Parliamentary Morning Tea
As part of a push to focus attention on the goal of eliminating hepatitis C, the Parliamentary Friends Group for Action on Blood Borne Viruses organised a Parliamentary Morning to discuss testing and treatment.
The event was jointly hosted by Sen. Louise Pratt and Sen. Tim Wilson. Both the Health Minister Greg Hunt and Shadow Minister for Health Chris Bowen were expected to attend.
Updates on the event will be provided if it becomes available.